10 Reasons “Divers-ish” People Are Important for Diversity

Calling all allies for diversity and inclusion

I often am asks in my talks on Lead Like an Ally, “how do we get people that do not feel diverse to feel included in diversity and inclusion?”

Fair question.

Often the cisgender white male feels alienated by the conversation about diversity and inclusion.  As if somehow they are the problem.  I do not agree with this logic.  We need our straight white male counterparts now more than ever.  At a time when our potential allies are refraining from the conversation, is the precise time we need our allies the most.

So, why care?

#1:  You benefit from inclusion.  Workplaces where all people are seen, heard, and feel like they belong, work better for everyone.  Diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 20%+ by every metric that matters.

#2:  You have a diversity story.  Research shows that nearly all leaders have experienced a time they felt different, did not belong, or had to minimize or maximize a part of their true identity to fit in.  It affects everyone.

#3:  It feels good to help others.  Givers often benefit more from their gives, when they are intentional and have impact.  Helping others is one of the most primal parts of the human experience.

#4:  You know someone that is underrepresented.  Think of those you know that are different than the majority group.  Not just race and gender, perhaps background, industry, experience, age, ability, or sexual orientation come into play.

#5:  Growth requires discomfort.  Stepping into uncomfortable conversations requires bravery and courage, and on the other side of taking a risk, comes tremendous personal growth.

#6:  Meritocracy is not real.  It simply does not exist.  Look at the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies – there are more men named John than there are women.  We are all a part of a system that keep others down.

#7:  You can make a difference in someone’s life.  What an amazing feeling it is to listen, learn, and be able to provide allyship to someone that might otherwise leave the organization or decide they do not belong and hold back.

#8:  Unconscious bias affects everyone.  We all have bias.  It shows up in subtle, subliminal ways.  When you see something that feels icky, say something.  You will feel better, and so will your ally.

#9:  It makes you a better leader.  Inclusive leaders that are self-aware, admit their own vulnerabilities, and practice empathy outperform those that do not exhibit these behaviors.  You get more from your team when you consistently show you care.

#10:  It is not that hard.  Being an ally is a journey.  Even the most inclusive leaders admit they have room to grow.  The work never stops, yet it is your choice to start, to practice, and to be better every single day.

Want to do more?

That is why I developed the Lead Like an Ally program.

The Lead Like an Ally program is a 12-month inclusive leadership program designed to guide managers with tools, strategies, and techniques to be more inclusive with no more than one hour a month time commitment.  It meets leaders where they are at on their ally journey in a safe, comfortable virtual learning environment with workbook exercises to apply learning real-time.

As a special offer for completing the assessment, I am offering a complimentary 30-day preview of the Lead Like an Ally program.  Simply reply, with “start my preview” and we will get you set up.

Want to learn more before starting the preview?